Wednesday, November 26, 2014

What Flowers to Give?

One of my Business English classes ended last week. As a way of saying thank you, my students gave me a bouquet of assorted flowers. I don't know the names of the flowers; I just know they're beautiful. I received a few bouquets of flowers on my last day in my former school, too. The few schools I substituted during my first months here also gave me flowers. When I was a guest speaker in a community English class, I got flowers. I'd probably get flowers in March when I bid farewell to my current school.

In Japan, giving flowers is a customary way of showing professional appreciation.Giving flowers is not only for women. Schools and companies also give "flowers of appreciation" to male employees. Also, the more elaborate and more expensive the bouquet, the more it shows how appreciated you are. From the grapevine, the principal in my former school got a bouquet worth 20,000 Yen during his farewell party. (That's 10000 PHP or 200USD!) I find it quite extravagant. I'd prefer cash. (haha!) But well, that's their culture and that's how they say a big THANK YOU.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Why My Heart is in School?

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If I were rich, I'd use a large portion of my money supporting students. If I were poor, I'd find a way to support at least one student. No matter how much I earn, I vowed to myself I will do my part, big or small, to help send someone to school.

I'm from a lower middle class family with 6 other siblings. My parents can't afford to take us on trips or buy us things that would expose us to a bigger world. Schools did that for us. We had our first computer when I was already in 3rd year high school. The priciest gift my parents gave us was an encyclopedia set paid in installments. We had the streets if we want to go beyond our small home. We had a TV if we want to see other things. The environment I grew up in is limited and I would have stayed limited if I didn't go to school.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Let's Try Some Japanese Food!

More than two years in Japan and I don't know how to cook any Japanese food. (insert sad face) I'm in Japan so I didn't find any need to cook Japanese food. I can just go out my apartment, walk less than a hundred steps and buy some Japanese food from 7/11. If I'm craving for sushi, I just need to cycle in 10 minutes and I'll be eating at Kaiten Sushi. If I want some ramen, I just simply have to go to the station or grab my perpetual stock of cup noodles. So I guess you get it why I didn't find a need to learn how to cook Japanese food.

But not all foreigners are like me. I found this foreign blogger who tried cooking various Japanese food using Japanese Soul Cooking book. Check out the recipes and her experiences with the food below. (Just click the link on each food). She gives her own take and expressed useful commentaries on Japanese food.
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